June 13, 2018

Public Citizen Decries Republican Bills That Keep Illicit Funds Dark

Statements of Public Citizen Experts

Note: On Thursday, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services will vote on a series of measures that reduce safeguards on market stability, investment and terrorist financing. In a letter to the committee, Public Citizen explains its opposition.

“House Republicans continue their march through the swamp of bank-authored deregulation legislation, exposing Americans to risk from financial market instability, investment dangers and even terrorism. H.R. 6068 proposes a substantial weakening of the law that helps police catch drug dealers, human traffickers and tax evaders. Critically, this measure fails to require companies doing business with banks to disclose the identity of their true owners. This enables anonymous companies to front for illicit businesses, with banks unknowingly doing the dirty work of processing their payments.”

- Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division

“It’s outrageous that libraries get more information from people in order to check out books than our government gets from people who start corporations. The Panama Papers and Paradise Papers prove that those who have things to hide thrive in secrecy jurisdictions, including right here in the U.S. It’s very disappointing that congressional Republicans chose to punt on the problem of secret companies by cutting beneficial ownership information from H.R. 6068. If Congress truly wants to combat the flow of illicit money, whether it’s for tax evasion of funding terrorism, it should at least require an ID check.”

- Susan Harley, deputy director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division

###